Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

"I'd Rather Have A Sister In A Whorehouse..."

"... than a brother who was a recruiter." Those were among the first words I heard in Boot Camp as we were getting the customary "CCs yelling at new recruits to try to get them to hand over contraband" welcome. I thought of that episode when reading this recruiting article written, apparently, by a recruiter who'd never been on a submarine (or a former Boomer JO). Excerpts:
Normally, a Sailor is assigned to a submarine for a three-year period, followed by a three-year period of shore duty. But don’t expect to be at sea for three years straight – remember most subs spend a significant amount of time docked at their home port.
Because of the nature of the work, the living conditions and the limited space for onboard supplies, submarines typically have shorter deployments than surface ships. A typical submarine deployment would be:
3 months for a smaller Fast Attack Submarine
3–6 months for a larger Ballistic Missile Submarine
Rest assured, it’s not all work and no play aboard a Navy Sub. There is some downtime that can be beneficial to team building and personal rejuvenation. And it’s important take advantage of it when you can. Here’s how a typical day breaks down:
6 hours of sleep time
6 hours spent on watch (actively operating assigned equipment)
12 hours spent off watch (this time is divided between eating, studying, training, qualifying and free time)
How many other errors can you find? Do you have any good stories of lying recruiters (or, even better, stories from when you were a recruiter)?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... he apparently got his info from a COB.

6/21/2013 9:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm voting that it's a speech from a former Boomer JO...either that, or his strap-on.

6/21/2013 9:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're an Officer or enlisted and qualified a supervisory watch, then watch is a 7-8 hour evolution between pre-watch tour, pre-watch brief, and post-watch tour (officer/CPO)/clean-up (E-6 and below).

That leaves 10 hours of off-watch time, so there's one error.

Another is deployments are typically around 6 months, with up to 3 months spent at sea consecutively before pulling in to restock food. Deployments can be longer if needed (Miami '09 did 8 months).

6/21/2013 10:47 AM

Anonymous STS2 said...

In 1996 my roomate and I moved into our barracks room at the new Seawolf Barracks in Pearl Harbor, we bought a 24 pack of toilet lasted 18 months. Anyone who says that submarines spend a great deal of their time in port needs to be kicked squarely in their pussy. "We're not payed to be in port, we're better off at sea where you can't get into any trouble" CDR C. Earl, USS Louisville

6/21/2013 11:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder most enlistees hitting the fleet end up cursing their recruiter.

Let a submariner write the blurb. Not some well-meaning but uninformed idiot

6/21/2013 12:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the rotation really like that now, 3 years at sea then 3 years on shore? When I was in, 89-97, I did almost 7 years straight on my sub, although the first 2 of that were new-con (I was a MM nuke)

Also, with the rotation, well, that assumes a 24 hour day, not a 18 hour day we did underway. Yup, the watch really was an 8 hour evolution, followed by training/maintenance, then lucky if we got 6 hours down before starting all over again. Of course, when doing a ORSE workup, having just 2 or 3 hours of sleep in that cycle was really nice. Although, I learned some really cool things during the hallucinations I would have after being up for 72 hours straight, (ORSE, followed by 8 hours of Maneuvering Watch, followed by Rx shutdown, then additionally having duty right after shutdown)!

Why don't the recruiters tell those stories? They surely built character, right?

6/21/2013 3:14 PM

Blogger -J.Darling said...

Yeah... This is actually nearly word for word what My Sailor was told when he joined just 3 years ago.

Yes, he's home, and yes, we're grateful for that, but he's pretty much completely useless and exhausted.

We were hoping to adopt kids, but can't because he can't get enough time off to take the necessary classes and schedule the necessary appointments with the Social Worker to get the ball rolling.

Then again, if the Navy wanted you to have a family, they'd issue you one.

6/21/2013 3:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Website does have a feedback function. We should all use it, even though I doubt they'll fix it.

6/21/2013 5:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good deal to me. Where do I sign up.

6/21/2013 5:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhere in the bowels of the Navy where nuke paperwork goes to die is a copy of the engineering logs with my initials on them as the EOOW where I was pretty much on watch for 24 hours +.

Normal 6 hours of for an hour or two and then we set the maneuvering watch - back in the penalty box for me.

Maneuvering watch from hell as we wandered up the Cooper river and meandered around all day waiting to pick up the inspection team....all the while maintaining the maneuvering watch back aft. A MAJOR fuckup as I later learned that the COB was bullshit about...more on that later.

Finally pick up the inspection team and get out of the penalty box for an hour or so...poof! Now my time for my "normal" watch has come so BACK I go into the penalty box. The money quote comes from my roving electrician watchstander (whose maneuvering watch was his rack so missed the party back aft...) who came back on watch and was stunned to realize that my initials were all over his logs for reviewing the logs for the past 24 hours! He could not believe what was in front of his eyes...!

Finally get off watch...go forward to sleep and realize that the inspection team has taken my bunk. Luckily the COB came to my rescue and made sure I had a replacement bunk and made sure I was undisturbed for the next 7 hours to recover. Apparently he was pissed that I had been left on watch back aft and even more annoyed when he realized that I had the next watch and my normal rack had been given to a rider...


6/21/2013 6:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my first boat, we had a nuke ICC(SS) who, to put it kindly, liked to push the envelope. He also enjoyed tweaking the JOs, particularly if they demonstrated a low tolerance for tweaking. One duty night in the Weirdroom, the Chief (as EDPO) approached the SDO and EDO, both USNA grads, and said "I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother at the Naval Academy." The EDO laughed, but the SDO lifted a relief valve. The Chief only batted .500 on that round, but mission accomplished.

6/21/2013 7:34 PM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

Once upon a time in 1974 as a skimmer YNC I reported to an attack boat in San Diego without benefit of Submarine School. My recent bride was a Navy Nurse.

After 15 years in the Navy I knew I would have to start learning things about ships. Got busy qualifying in submarines concurrent with Chief of the Watch. Spent about 75 percent of that first year at sea and at Nanoose; some of you may know where that is. Retired off of another attack boat in 1987. So proud of my Dolphins, and would not give up a moment of it.

6/21/2013 8:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see:
Watch section brief. Eat, pre-watch tour, post watch tour, cleanup, eat. Work, work, work, get 5 hours of sleep and back to the pre-watch section brief. That was every 30 hours as a DOOW. I felt fortunate. That doesn't include the evolutions vice drills due to our location. Or GMT, divisional training, dink study supervision, qual boards, sparkle team, focussed cleanups, etc.
They'd have done much better showing A'gangrs playing with their O'rings. But what do I know?


6/21/2013 11:07 PM

Anonymous STSCS said...

6:47 anon, I had almost an identical day during PCO ops. Mid watch Sonar Sup after a long day. Relieved late and just had time for breakfast & then back in the shack for Maneuvering watch Sup...for an entire day of unassisted landings. I was given a ten minute relief to wolf something down and piss at about 1300. 1630 and finally relieved. Took a quick shower to recharge and had chow, then back on for the regularly scheduled evening watch... with the outbound faulted Dive and 2 trips to PD. All is well that ends well...second PD trip at about 2200ish and the CO gets on the 1MC, where he announces 4 of us were selected for Chief! The fatigue didn't go away but I sure had a better attitude about it!

6/22/2013 1:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always love how the mention tha "vacation time" and see all the cool ports.

Of course they forget to mention that when you go on leave that you also included weekend days...

As an east coast fast boat, we saw crap for ports. I wanted to go to Pearl or Kings Bay after prototype. I got Norfolk. Did I mention I'm from Virgina?

My recruiter was a surface guy so his perspective didn't even come close to what a bubblehead nuke gets for a deal. Seems recruiters see the sign up bonus we get offereed and they all think we get paid oodles of money and privilege.

Getting in the plane to boot is one of those days etched in my memory for life.

6/22/2013 4:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While anon 4:29 a.m. was getting on one of those new fangled flying machines, I was boarding a fuckin train out of Hoboken NJ for a very slow 24 hour train ride to GLAKES. A very boring ride and wound up in some train yard in Chi. at midnight on January 28th 1960. It was colder then a well diggers ass, I never felt cold like that in my life. But I got 2 more months of it...

6/22/2013 6:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. Maybe I was different. But I did my homework. So when I enlisted in '87, I stated I wanted the QMS program, go to boot camp in Orlando within 2 weeks. Once in New London, I chose and got Pearl Harbor. I knew what I was in for when I reported on board the NYC. So I had no great shocks.

And my recruiter was an OSC(SW).

6/22/2013 7:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I belonged to the toughest fighting force in the silent service: SSBN Sonarmen specializing in the North Atlantic. Hell, I remember one patrol in '71 we had 21 contacts, slept out after 3 weeks and worst of 5 section duty. Tell THAT to prospective recruits and watch them run!!

6/22/2013 8:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are truly honored by your most generous appearance, far too fleeting though it may seem, O Boomer ST, Great Ghost of the Deep.

Come, share with us your stories of colossal jocularity and hearty mirth of how you and your mighty crew staunchly held the banner of freedom high in the faraway frozen wastelands of the icy North, whilst bravely fending off the treacherous assails of truly unimaginable boredom! (Ennui, much?)

Most humbly do we, who followed in those giant footsteps (wherein we would seem as mere specks), do beseech of thee a reveling of any and all heretofore undisclosed mischievous antics that, most surely, legends are waiting to be made of! (I speak of those devised for the slaying of those most foul of evils we all know lurk deep in the heart of the midwatch).

Grant to us this our boon, O Boomer ST, Great Ghost of the Deep so that we may better learn to stave off for ourselves the mind-numbing entrancements of transits, five knots to nowhere, four knots, three...ZZZZ - Huh?! What was that? What was what? THAT!! Right. There. Ohhh... that! A B-10?

Let neither modesty nor too great an observance of an seemly decorum before this most august gathering of your brethren quench that twinkle in your eye!

In our breathless and most reverent anticipation do we await your reply. And so do we entreat thee to Answer, O Boomer ST, Great Ghost of the Deep...

In all sincerity, how the heck did you guys get through a run with your sanity intact? (Uh, hold it...don't answer that). You can probably guess one of my methods.

On the YMMV spectrum of feast or famine - yours is the toughest to deal with, imho. A lot of those watches must have seemed endless. You guys must have really refined the art of hijinks. How many different uses for a grease pencil are there? Salute, bro.

The Laponear

6/22/2013 8:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be easier to point out the information that is factually correct. 6 hour watch.

6/23/2013 10:47 AM

Anonymous A Real Submariner! said...

What do you expect? It's the Navy Recruiting Command...ya know..where the great and powerful slogan of a America's Navy, A Global Force for Good!

This is the place that gives special duty assignment pay (SDAP) to chumps that will never ever go to sea again! And have you seen the advancement to CPO, SCPO and MCPO for the shore duty commandoes.

No way anyone can convince me that all those NCs are sooo overworked!!!! Let's duty, the most they spend away from their families is a day or two for production meetings, and they sit around, patting themselves on the back for achieving their mission, ie. putting someone in the Navy that is of a certain ethnicity and scored well on the ASVAB!

So the description of sub life, obviously did not get written by a true submariner, but some shore duty shit for brains who may have served on a boomer, but never a fast attack.

Navy Recruiting Command - thank God they are not a sea going command, cause we'd be flailing on the rocks! its the only place where your worst day at sea is ALWAYS better than your best day in recruiting!

6/23/2013 12:19 PM

Anonymous Indiana Subs said...

Joel , I have to disagree. Even a boomer JO wouldn't write these lies. Sound to me like it’s a civilian ‘marketing’ person. “Rest assured it’s not all work and no play aboard a navy sub.” … “team building” … “personal rejuvenation”. Who talks like that except the guys in marketing at the company I work for since I got out of the Navy. Then there’s the underway day. Six hours sleep, six hours on watch, plus 12 hours off-watch. That’s 4 section. There is not enough crew to sustain a four section underway watch bill even on boomers. Maybe the OODs and EOOWs on an SSBN okay I’ll give you that one. Same for fast attack officers during a straight transit but not on a mission. It’s three section at best. And I can't see better than three section for enlisted even on boomers. That being said, I don’t understand how a boomer sonar shack can be 5 section unless they didn’t have all their stacks manned.

6/23/2013 2:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That being said, I don’t understand how a boomer sonar shack can be 5 section unless they didn’t have all their stacks manned."

Haven't read the recent incident reports from Kentucky, Jax, and Montpelier? Not properly manning Sonar tends to be a 'thing'.

6/23/2013 5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Sonar Sup in 5 section for a while. We had FTGs, MTs and even the Doc on the watch bill for a while.

6/24/2013 6:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had an E-4 on my first boat (Boomer) who told the recruiter he didn't care what he did, he just wanted to be able to travel and see the world. Recruiter said, well I have the billet for you, lots of opportunities to travel as a...

Submarine Missile Technician

Yeah, travel to Bangor and back.

6/24/2013 12:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some great stories here...

Port and Starboard ERS on a 688, ORSE workup, then ORSE. 6 hour watch, clean up, eat, then do drill team, get maybe an hour in the rack, then do it all again. Sometimes I did not even get the rack time. Pulled in after a week, I had slept a grand total of 18 hours. I took a bag of trash off the boat and kept walking. I woke up in someones rack at the San Diego barracks, unclear how I got there or what time it was. I had showered and got dressed, and thought it was afternoon. It was, but it was the next day. I missed muster and full day of work.
I had to explain to the Eng and the bull why I wasn't there.
They actually were sympathetic and let me off.

USS Chicago,I loathed you at times...

6/24/2013 2:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fattest watchbill I ever saw was the transit from NLON to Bremerton for the decommissioning of the boomer I was on. No one was watching the CO when we combined crews and the Old Man simply kept everyone in the combined crew!! Lots of folks were allowed to drive to the West Coast during the transit and wait for the boat, but we actually left with damn near every possible bunk occupied!

I stood OOD in some crazy watchbill where I stood watch in the afternoon watch (12-6pm) and then I was off for 18 hours and then stood the midwatch the following night (12-6 am). It actually was kind of dangerous as you had been off-watch so long that you had no idea what the hell was going on and actually had to do a pre-watch tour!!

Eventually the CO got caught out with what he had done (or failed to do) during crew combine but that is a different story...

6/24/2013 7:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on most of the comments above it appears recruiters had little if any influence on the choice to volunteer for submarines. Port and starboard has been standard for SSN nucs since Nautilus.

If the word never got back to nuky volunteers, whose fault was it really?


6/24/2013 9:16 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

And no mention at all of the infamous Vulcan Death summed up as 3 weeks on and none off.
3 year shore tour?
Lets see...SSN758 from 1980-1986. Decommed her and walked over to SSN666 until 1988. Flew to San Diego for a 4 month school then checked onto SSN721 until 1991. Got nice orders to the Training Center in San-Dag, but that was only 2 years (91-93) since I made Chief and SSN758 needed a relief. So from 93-98 did more Fast Boat time and finally finished with a nice tour at CSS11 (which was still considered Sea Duty at the time since we were technically on a ship (AS41) as Staff.
2001 was told by the detailer that I was going to the SSN705 in Guam for 3 options despite having spent 8 of 20 years at sea. I decided enough fun for 3 lifetimes so I took door number 3...and retired in 2002.
Still, wouldn't trade it for the world.

6/24/2013 11:14 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

Sorry, that was 18 of 20 "1" key is sticking.

I think the worst thing was the 5 year+ tours. After 4 years your pretty burnt out, but along comes your 3rd set of CO's and XO's (and even COBs) who are charging hard for their next career move.
It's pretty hard to get the motivation and excitement level up for yet another change in how we will do drills and watchbills and training and admin.
Change, not because it was being done wrong, but because its not in the format the FNG XO wants it to be in.

6/24/2013 11:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Huh? Who in their right mind, let alone an 18-yr old kid , would believe a diabolical scheme as port and starboard watchstanding was actually a common practice? Shirley, you must be joking.

Recruiters "always look on the bright side" of Navy life, now don't they. Me, I did what I thought was sufficient homework. Then I walked off the street into my recruiter's office and told him I wanted to be a submariner, and the rating I wanted. His eyes lit up like he just found a hundred dollar bill in his skivvies after waking up in a Singapore cathouse.*

While I was informed 3-section duty underway was the norm, no mention of port and starboard was ever made. Not that it would have made that much of a difference, to be fair. I was pretty determined.

Port and starboard is a brutal grind, especially on extensive underways. But let's not make it sound like that high school kid should have known better just to salve a recruiter's "conscience", ok?

Btw, this is the first I heard that P & S was SOP going all the way back to the 571. How come my recruiter didn't mention that little tidbit, hmmm?

* Disclaimer: This reference is intended solely as a metaphorical literary device. It is in no way to be construed (or otherwise imply) that any US Navy personnel would ever actually find him/herself waking up in a Singapore cathouse with a hundred dollar bill in their skivvies. (As if that could ever happen...)

All this typing's made me hungry. I'm heading out for some breakfast. Anybody have change for a Benjamin?

6/25/2013 12:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stood OOD in some crazy watchbill where I stood watch in the afternoon watch (12-6pm) and then I was off for 18 hours and then stood the midwatch the following night (12-6 am).

"Crazy watchbill", otherwise known as 4-section.

6/25/2013 6:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rereading my post (and yours), your math is bad (18 hours). You must have had 30 hours off, which would be 6-section.

6/25/2013 6:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon author of flowery blather to Atwood:

You were: 1) enlisted; 2) you did not start out as a 'nuc'; 3) you make no claim to serving on SSNs in the early days, or 4) of converting to nuc; nor 5) to mustanger.

In short, 'Shirley', you had no real part in the comments to which Atwood referred and certainly don't know whereof he speaks.

Pipe down a$$hole!

6/25/2013 9:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Port and Stbd ERS and on the drill team? You should've done more than explain yourself to the bull and should've slapped them up the head for picking you for the drill team.

On boats where leadership cares about the crew, port/stbd isn't all that bad. You get out of a lot of the bs in the routine (after watch cleanup, maintenance, etc) to get extra rack time.

6/25/2013 9:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did a month of P&S while on NORPAC. The third QM disqualed as his UI plotted the boat 1 degree of latitude off and the QMOW was obviously not paying attention. I took the watch and plotted the position 3 times before backtracking the preceeding 6 hours. Turns out the chart was rolled and the mistake began there. 3 hours of not knowing where the boat actually was. (shudder) Called away a loss of confidence of boats position and the need to fix the boats position. Came to PD and caught a satellite (pre-GPS days). CO was POed beyond all rational thought. The UI became an MS (he was dyslexic to boot his logbook writing looked like hieroglyphics) and the QMOW who had the UI was fired. That began the P&S routine. I was still a NUB back then but the COB gave me some slack as to the weekly points I had to get on ships quals.

6/25/2013 10:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy fat watchbill was not 4 section.

4 section is standing the same watch every day.

This was 6 section watchbill - standing a watch and then coming back 30 hours later to stand the next watch.

I messed up the timing between the watches - it was 30 hours, not 18...

The EOOW's were in 5 section watch...

Theory to practice - if you combine two boomer crews, do not let anyone go, basically have everyone qualified their senior watch stations, you have a pretty fat watchbill all over the boat.....

6/25/2013 6:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 0931.

My oh my oh my. What have I done. Excuse me all over the place. Hit a nerve, or something? Try not to snap an artery. I just couldn't live with that on my conscience.

Blow it out your a$$, Francis.

6/25/2013 7:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


All my time was on fast boats from 1987 to 2009 but I did get conned into a 3 year recruiting stint.

Worst 3 years of my life. You come up through the ranks in the submarine force where your fellow shipmates are your brothers and family. Then you go to a "shore duty" billet where they are taught to eat their young.

Someone mentioned it before... Any day underway on a submarine is better than a day on recruiting. THAT IS A FACT!!!

I was told to NOT talk about my submarine duty and that it would scare off the applicants. Horseshit!! Maybe that is why we are getting so many pansies signing up these days. Noone has the balls to tell them the truth.

I think they need to hear the stories of Singapore, Thailand, Phillipines etc. along with the underway stories. This is what real submariners are made of. If they can't hack the stories of chicken wheels, horse cock and pillows of death then I don't want them in MY NAVY!!!!

All recruiters are FAGS with no real connection to the fleet.

6/26/2013 10:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We once had the SILLY idea to swap watch rotations.

We were 4 section Sonar Supervisor and doubled up the watch (on transit). Basically we would stand 12 hours straight and have 36 hours off!! Movies, Meals and Matress!!!!

Only did that once! Was tired from watch and then sore from too much rack time.

6/26/2013 10:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot a hate going out to boomers in this thread.

6/26/2013 6:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing the matter with boomers as long as you learn how to swallow. Some of us couldn't.

6/26/2013 11:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So my recruiter didnt lie to me I actually got the school I wanted & after SubSchool got the diesel boat on the river like I wanted It didnt hurt to be an SK occasionly I was very very fortunate
I think we stood 3 section about 3 times in 4 years

6/27/2013 8:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Career Recruiters are the devil! They don't give a shit about the Real Navy or the real sailors that work for them! Recruiters have little option but to glorify the fleet, or they will not make goal/mission and the NC in charge of them will likely ruin their career and their family life. Yeah, recruiting is good for your career if you are good at glorifying. What they don't tell you is that if you're honest and actually recruit "highly qualified" individuals you will work 70 hours a week. NCs eat whoever they can, not just their young. They are homos who want permanent "shore duty" and to sit back and make your life a living hell. The worst day at sea is not really better than the best day at recruiting, but it's pretty DAMN close!

As you can probably tell, I am a "scumbag" recruiter. Worst decision I ever made. I am, however, successful in recruiting. 246 more days and I will return to the REAL NAVY where I will do everything I can to keep my sailors from going recruiting! I probably have a good shot at making Chief this year, but am pretty apprehensive about it because I will DREAD having to go through initiations with these lousy fucks. I hope they all die and burn in hell.

6/27/2013 10:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there best you can. We'll leave a light on for you.

6/27/2013 11:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Often tempted to post here; this one was just too much.

Ustafish held the record for most days away from home port 1982-3. We did okay with three sections in sonar most of the time with some help from other divs.

Outside of the special runs we were often port and starboard. Our chief would be on some control room watch so even the Sonar Sup got to do p/s.

8/04/2013 5:58 PM


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